Psilocybin: Therapeutic use, Treatment. Psilocybin rehab.

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 2:58 pm

Official names: Psilocybin, Psilocybe mushrooms
Street names: Magic mushrooms, shrooms, boomers, caps, cubes (Psilocybe cubensis), fungus, liberty caps, Mexican mushrooms, mushies, mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms, psilocydes, purple passion, sillies, silly putty, simple Simon
Drug classifications: Schedule I, hallucinogen


Key terms

ALKALOID: Any organic agent isolated from plants that contains nitrogen and reacts with an acid to form a salt.
ENEMA: This is the injection of fluid into the rectum. Native Americans have used this method to ingest psilocybin.
ETHNOMYCOLOGIST: Aperson who studies the cultural uses of mushrooms.
FLASHBACK: The re-experiencing of a drug high without actually taking the drug. A flashback is usually limited to visual hallucinations and disturbances and can occur weeks, months, or years after taking the drug.
PARANOIA: The presence of delusions of a persacutory nature, involving be hunted or harmed by another person.
PSILOCYBE: A genus of mushroom which produces the bitter-tasting indole alkaloid psilocybin that causes hallucinations and other side effects. Sometimes Psilocybe mushrooms are referred to as psilocybin mushrooms.
PSYCHOSIS: A severe mental disorder characterized by the loss of the ability to distinguish what is objectively real from what is imaginary, frequently including hallucinations.
S E ROTO NIN: An important neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates mood, appetite, sensory perception and other central nervous system functions.
SYNESTHESIA: Achemical “cross-wiring” of the brain circuits often due to the use of hallucinogens that results in colors being felt or heard and sound being tasted or seen.
TOLERANCE: A condition in which higher and higher doses of a drug are needed to produce the original effect or high experienced.



For thousands of years, Native Americans in Central and South America have used Psilocybe (mushrooms producing psilocybin — pronounced sill-o-sigh-bin) in rare religious rites and ceremonies. The Aztec word for these hallucinogen-producing mushrooms is teo-nanacatl, which roughly translates as “flesh of god.” The shaman (medicine man or woman) and a select group of participants using the mushrooms believed they received special power to talk to the gods, to divine the future, to cure the sick, and to speak with the dead. In 2002, Native Americans in Central, South, and North America still practiced their religious traditions by legally using Psilocybe mushrooms.
In the 16th century, when the Spanish conquered the Aztecs, the Spanish tried to eradicate the use of the “magic or Mexican mushroom.” The effort was unsuccessful, but in the process, the priests were able to document the traditions, uses, and history associated with the mushroom. Ingesting these mushrooms at that time was largely confined to the Native American population.
Most people in Europe and in the United States were not aware of Psilocybe mushrooms until 1957. That year, R. Gordon Wasson, an enthnomycologist, published an article about Psilocybe mushrooms in Life magazine. This article brought the mushrooms to the attention of the general public for the first time. As a result of the article, thousands of people flocked to Mexico in search of the mind-altering mushroom. About that same time, the psychoactive chemical psilocybin was isolated and synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, who also discovered LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).
For about a decade, psilocybin was legal and available in mushroom, powder, or pill form. It was used by psychologists to treat psychological problems and was also studied as a treatment for reforming criminals. By 1968, clinical tests were showing few positive, conclusive results and abuse of the mushroom in the United States was escalating. As a result of these findings, the government made possesion of psilocybin illegal.
As the Psilocybe mushroom gained popularity, so did knowledge about its native growth. Prior to the 1950s these mushrooms were only known to grow in Mexico and a few select places. It was soon discovered that Psilocybe mushrooms grow around the world. Many of them grow naturally in the United States, especially in the Pacific Northwest and southern states. This makes enforcing the law difficult.
While psilocybin use slowed in the 1980s, its renewed popularity since the mid-1990s is causing concern. In 2002, Psilocybe mushrooms are becoming more common at raves, college campuses, and clubs in the United States and several other countries. Psilocybe mushrooms are advertised as a “natural” hallucinogen that is safer and gentler than LSD.

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